Tell Your Own Story

When we tell the stories of our lives on social media, in family albums, or even just to ourselves we often attend to the perspective of the viewer first. What sort of person do I want them to believe I am? Or what will this person say? And then we mold the story to fit the narrative we have imagined of this outside observer. What if, instead of sculpting our stories to fit the narratives others will write about us anyway we focus on telling our story the way we view it? What if we were the primary observer of our lives? 

It’s easy to listen to the way other’s speak about us and wonder if their view is in some way truer or more authentic than our own. This happens at political rallies and at small dinner parties. Someone tells us a story from their perspective and we believe it because their view seems so compelling. Maybe they are a persuasive speaker or maybe we do not have the expertise or knowledge a the time to contradict them. But when it comes to our own lives and our own story – we get to shape and and share as we wish. We get to tell the stories of our lives because we are the main character.

Therefore, as you prepare a post or choose an image to represent an event, instead of considering if others will think it funny. Stop wondering if some other person might think this a good picture of you or whatever other perspective you might be tempted to consider. Instead reflect, do I like this image? Do I like what I’m writing or what I’m saying? Am I happy with what I’ve done or am doing? Because that’s the only thing that matters. The only relevant and important opinion is yours. Choose to be the author of your own story and not a supporting character in your own adventure. As Nora Ephron tells us, “Above all, be the heroine of you life, not the victim.”

In our own minds the world revolves around each of us. Don’t let what you imagine of someone else sculpt the narrative of your life. Tell your story exactly as you wish. Show up authentically, not as some pre-packaged version of yourself that may or may not appease others. Because someone else can only tell the story as they see it, which will never be exactly how you lived.  So choose to write your own narrative and to let your perspective be the one that shines through. Share who you are, what you believe, and be kind to yourself. Sometimes our harshest critics are in our own heads.

How have you chosen your own narrative today, this week, this year? How can you create more opportunities to tell your own stories?

Summer Break

It’s summer break! Here’s a list of some fun things you can do to treat yourself better and create more fun and joy to fill your memory banks. Summertime isn’t just about kids having fun. So often we get jealous of people who go on vacation or children making their way to camp. What if you gave yourself the gift of fun too? Making time for fun and pleasure is not just for kids. Finding joy in your daily life keeps things exciting, gives us something to look forward to, and brings us closer to our purpose of being alive. We aren’t here to suffer or make amends, we’re here to thrive and enjoy every morsel. 

There’s a wonderful line in the Talumud which reads, “A person will be called to account on Judgement Day for every permissible thing they might have enjoyed but did not.” Embrace happiness and let your highlight reel be a joyful expression of your love for life and for yourself. These ideas aren’t super expensive or tricky, you only have to give yourself permission to partake in the delights.

  1. Watch the sunset
  2. Eat an ice cream or frozen popsicle on the stoop or in the grass.
  3. Swing at your local park – you can do this in the morning before it gets too hot!
  4. Take yourself to the beach – or turn your backyard into your own beach oasis with a towel, some sunscreen, and a shallow pool of cool water.
  5. Read a book under the shade of a tree.
  6. Take a hike or go on a walk in the evening with friends.
  7. Turn on the sprinkler and run through it!
  8. Take a nap.
  9. Draw with sidewalk chalk or blow bubbles
  10. Pick some flowers and put them in a cup of water

Invite a friend or loved one to join you in any of these endeavors for an added boost of connection and memory making. Joy is always doubled when shared. Happy Summer break!